W National Park
|W Transborder Park|
Mekrou River in the W-National Park
|Nearest city||Kandi (Benin), Diapaga (Burkina), Tapoa (Niger)|
|Established||August 4, 1954|
|Governing body||ECOPAS, Governments of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin|
|Official name: W National Park of Niger|
|Criteria:||vii, ix, x|
|Designated:||1996 (20th session)|
The W Regional Park is a major national park in West Africa. It is formed around a meander in the River Niger shaped like a "W". The park includes areas of the three countries Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso.
In the three nations, the Regional park covers about 10,000 km². Almost no people live in this area.
The park is known for its large mammals, including aardvarks, baboons, buffalo, caracal, cheetahs, elephants, hippopotamuses, leopards, lions, serval and warthogs. The park has a home for some of West Africa's last wild African Elephants. The W Park used to have packs of the endangered Painted Hunting Dog. The National Park is one of the last strongholds for the Northwest African cheetah. There is a small but increasing population of at least 15-25 animals of this rare cat in the park.
The W area is also known for its bird populations. There are over 350 species identified in the park.
- Belbachir, F. (2008). Acinonyx jubatus ssp. hecki. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 4 February 2009.
- United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Content Partner); Mark McGinley (Topic Editor). 2009. "'W' National Park, Niger." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). online